Victor Martinez matched a career-best with three home runs, the Tigers pounded six as a team and Detroit sailed to a 10-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night to open their four-game series.
Martinez hit a pair of solo shots and Nick Castellanos went deep before James McCann homered off Royals reliever Luke Hochevar (1-1) leading off the seventh to knot the game 4-all. Cabrera followed moments later with a two-run shot that gave the Tigers their first lead of the game.
Detroit added three more runs in the eighth before Martinez hit his third homer in the ninth. The veteran designated hitter's other three-homer game came on July 16, 2004, at Seattle.
Justin Verlander (7-5) allowed four runs on eight hits over seven innings, continuing his mastery of the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Verlander improved to 13-5 in 22 starts in the ballpark.
Not only did the Royals' five-game win streak end, so did their nine game home winning streak. It was their longest since reeling off 11 consecutive victories from March 31 to May 5, 2003.
The Tigers still absorbed a big loss in their come-from-behind win: J.D. Martinez left the game in the second inning after slamming into the wall while chasing a fly ball. The outfielder was taken for X-rays that revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right elbow, and he's due to have a CT scan Friday.
There was no timetable on how long Martinez might be out.
The Royals were in control until their normally staunch bullpen let them down. Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain drove in runs in the first inning to give them the lead, and Brett Eibner — fresh of the disabled list — matched Martinez's first homer by driving in a run in the bottom of the second.
Martinez and Castellanos went deep off Royals starter Danny Duffy in the fourth, tying the game, before Eibner connected leading off the fifth for the first home run of his career.
Eibner looked like he would be the hero until the Royals' relievers began throwing batting practice.
McCann's tying shot cleared the wall in spacious Kauffman Stadium with plenty of room to spare, and the home run by Cabrera — his 12th career homer at The K — just cleared the wall in right field.
Martinez capped the big night for the Tigers offense with his no-doubt homer in the ninth.
Eibner, who had been out with a sprained left ankle, arrived about an hour before first pitch and was put right into the lineup. The Royals optioned OF Reymond Fuentes to Triple-A Omaha to make room for him.
Tigers: Martinez (knee) was back in the starting lineup while OF Cameron Maybin (wrist) got the night off.
Royals: LF Alex Gordon (broken wrist) took batting practice for the second straight day.
Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer has won five straight games, allowing one earned run over 34 1/3 innings, and has thrown at least six shutout innings in each of his last four starts. He'll face Royals RHP Yordano Ventura, who struck out a season-high 10 in a win over the White Sox last Sunday.